What’s your favorite part of a New York Red Bulls season? Is it goals? Trophies? Points records? Empanadas, maybe? Or is it the ceaseless fascination with the number of people who show up to Red Bull Arena to watch a game?
The recurring empty seats at Red Bull Arena really bum me out. Still one of the best stadiums in MLS.— Jonah Freedman (@jonahfreedman) May 14, 2017
Good turnout in RBNY supporters section, as well as from traveling Revs supporters, but still too many empty seats: pic.twitter.com/Q9HmXUHwWt— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) August 28, 2016
If you love Red Bull Arena attendance takes, you’re going to love 2019. And 2020. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced that the World Trade Center PATH station will be closed for “most weekends” through December 2020.
That is to say that a key public transport route from Manhattan to Red Bull Arena will be closed for the majority of RBNY match-days for the next two years.
The WTC PATH station will be open on holiday weekends, but that’s still 45 weekends a year for the next two years that it will be closed (thanks, Jersey City Upfront for that calculation).
Alternate routes to RBA are available; free ferry service will be provided for PATH passengers seeking to navigate roughly the same journey provided by trains in and out of WTC - but a significant number of RBNY fans are going to find their match-day travel plans made longer and more complicated for the next couple of seasons.
On the bright side, MLS is expected to announce changes to its regular season and playoff schedules for 2019 - including an increased number of mid-week games for every club.
Don’t say MLS never does anything for RBNY when you’re enjoying that Wednesday-night ride to Harrison on the WTC PATH next year.